Berlusconi's 37 gold rings for female MPs
FOR some, five gold rings are enough for Christmas, but for Silvio Berlusconi, 37 are required -- one for each of his female MPs.
The 74-year-old Italian prime minister ordered the specially made £1,200 (€1,413) rings from a designer jeweller and they were given to female politicians as part of his annual Christmas gift.
In all, 24 women MPs from the lower house and 13 senators from the upper house were given the Italian "tricolour" rings, which were made of three bands of white, yellow and pink gold studded with tiny diamonds.
The rings were made by the jeweller Recarlo, which is based at Valenza near Alessandria in northern Italy, an area known for its upmarket gem dealerships.
On its website, Recarlo says of itself: "Pure passion -- Recarlo has always chosen the best quality diamonds.''
Carlo Re, the company's chairman, who has run the family business for 40 years, was unavailable for comment but a member of staff said: "This was a special gift chosen by the prime minister of Italy. We are not making any comment on it as it was a private purchase."
Mr Berlusconi is known for his generosity (©Daily Telegraph, London)